Pakistan’s former PM Imran granted bail in over a dozen cases - GulfToday

Pakistan’s former PM Imran granted bail in over a dozen cases


A vehicle carrying Imran Khan drives outside the High Court in Islamabad on Thursday. Reuters

Tariq Butt, Correspondent / AFP

Former prime minister Imran Khan had his bail renewed in over a dozen cases on Thursday, a month after his three-day detention sparked violence, thousands of arrests, and the resignations of much of his party's leadership.

The 70-year-old former international cricket star, facing more than 150 cases registered against him since his ousting in April last year, appeared at two courts in the capital, Islamabad.

"Imran is granted bail till June 19 in eight cases registered against him under the anti-terrorism legislation," one of his lawyers, Sher Afzal Marwat, told reporters.

Gohar Khan, another lawyer, said a different court had extended bail in nine other cases. His arrest and detention following a court appearance last month sparked nationwide protests — including a mob torching the residence of a senior army commander.

Imran appeared to be riding a wave of popularity towards those polls, holding huge rallies across the country, sweeping a string of by-elections, and vilifying authorities in addresses to the nation broadcast nightly on social media. But the violence following his arrest — particularly targeting military installations — led to a sweeping crackdown that threatens his political survival and that of his Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI) party.

Army vows to tighten 'the noose of law'

Late on Wednesday, Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) - the military's media wing — vowed to tighten "the noose of law" around those involved in violence. Following a meeting of the army's top commanders, a statement said the "ill design of inimical forces will be dealt with iron hands."

Meanwhile, a guessing game is on about a meeting of PTI Vice Chairman Shah Mehmood Qureshi with Imran with one report saying that the session ended on a bitter note.

After his release from the Adiala Jail Rawalpindi, Qureshi had told reporters that he would meet Imran and then explain the party position. He had also said that he holds the "flag of justice.”

After the meeting, Qureshi left for Karachi to look after his ailing wife. A report said quoting a very close friend of Qureshi in Multan that he advised Imran to retreat for the time being, go abroad, or at least maintain silence if the former prime minister doesn’t want to leave the country.

He also asked Imran to let him and others settle issues [with the establishment]. He told Imran he could take over the party again when everything had been set right.

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